Karim Khan
Karim KhanREUTERS/Michael Kooren

The Israeli Foreign Ministry condemned the decision by International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan to seek arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Ministry Spokesman Oren Marmorstein said, "The decision made today by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan is absurdity incarnate: he asks to equate the attackers and the attacked."

"This is folly of the highest order; there has never been anything like it," Mamorstein said.

He continued, "Prosecutor Khan decision is morally twisted. Israel is the victim of Hamas' crimes, an organization that flies the destruction of Israel as its flag, that perpetrated crimes against humanity and acts of genocide on October 7, committed the most heinous sexual crimes the world has seen, continues to attack Israeli citizens, and is currently holding 128 men and women as hostages."

"Hamas has committed all these war crimes, and to add insult to injury, uses the residents of Gaza as instruments of war and as human shields," he said. "Israel is operating in Gaza in order to defend its citizens, free the hostages, and remove Hamas' reign of terror so that it does not continue to threaten the security of Israel's citizens; all this is being carried out in accordance with international law and its humanitarian obligations."

"Israel will continue in its efforts to transfer humanitarian aid to the civilian population in Gaza, by land, sea and air," he said. "Prosecutor Khan's accusations are baseless, unfounded, distort international law, trample the rules of the court itself, and harm every democratic country that defends itself and fights terrorism."

"The State of Israel is a democracy, governed by the rule of law, with an independent and effective judiciary system that is respected throughout the world," Marmorstein declared. "Israel is not a state party to the ICC, and in common with other countries, does not recognize jurisdiction over the conflict."

"We call for the outright rejection of the Prosecutor’s request, and appeal to the countries of the free world to stand up against this outrageous move that undermines the basic principles of justice and morality.

"This is a dark day for the International Criminal Court," he concluded.